What’s on Bedford: 6 – 16 June 2024

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Your weekly what’s on guide for Bedford and the surrounding area from the Bedford Clanger.

Never miss a thing in Bedford ever again. From theatre to film, live music to art exhibitions, The Bedford Clanger what’s on guide lands every Thursday and is the only guide you need to know what’s on and what’s happening across the Borough for the next 10 days.

The Bedford Clanger’s What’s On Guide is kindly sponsored by The Cellar Bar.


Thursday 6 June & Sunday 9 June 2024

National Theatre Live: Nye
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm on Thursday & 2 pm on Sunday
Tickets: £15

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in a surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state and created the NHS. 

Confronted with death, Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan’s deepest memories lead him on a mind-bending journey back through his life; from childhood to mining underground, Parliament and fights with Churchill.

Written by Tim Price and directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island), this epic new Welsh fantasia was recorded live from the National Theatre and is presented as an ‘Encore’ performance.


Thursday 6 June 2024

Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
£2 per person / max six people per team

Brain cells at the ready, it’s Esquires music quiz and everyone’s welcome. Featuring music from the 50’s to the present, it’s £2 per person to enter with teams of up to a maximum of six people.

Cash prize for the winning team.


Thursday 6 June 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring featuring The Untouchables
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Thursday 6 June 2024

Live music: Alfie Templeman Album Release Show
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm

Bedford’s own Alfie Templeman will be returning to Esquires for an album release show presented by Slide Record Shop, as part of his UK instore tour.

‘Radiosoul’, Alfie Templeman’s second studio album, is an ambitious suite of tracks that showcase a bold new acid-pop direction for the Bedfordshire-born polymath. The record features production from Templeman as well as Nile Rodgers, Dan Carey, Karma Kid, Oscar Scheller, Will Bloomfield, Justin Young, Josh Scarbrow and Charlie J Perry.

It is an album of self-discovery, one that zips between genres at whim and showcases a newfound incisiveness and acerbic humour to Templeman’s lyricism, whilst retaining the sense of joy that defined his previous releases. It is the work of a prodigiously talented songwriter truly coming into his own.


Friday 7 June 2024

Theatre: Jarman
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

Derek Jarman: film-maker, painter, gardener at Prospect Cottage, gay rights activist, writer…his influence remains as strong as it was on the day AIDS killed him in 1994.

But his story, one of the most extraordinary lives ever lived, has never been told. Until now. This vibrant solo play from Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked HopeHowerd’s End) brings Derek back into being for a passionate, daring reminder of the courage it takes to truly live while you’re alive. A journey from Dungeness to deepest, brightest Soho and into the heart of one of our most iconoclastic artists.


Friday 7 June 2024

Live music: We Are Not Devo
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

ARE WE NOT MEN?! WE ARE (NOT) DEVO!

Ahoy, spuds! We Are Not Devo are coming to Bedford to perform choice cuts of gonzo mutato classics from throughout the career of DEVO, Ohio’s finest sons; a labour of love and sincerity bringing the message of Devolution to the good spuds of the UK.


Friday 7 June 2024

Live Music: Mel Quinn + The Krakens
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Mel Quinn and her guitar partner in crime Billy Casey are here for you to celebrate a night full of upbeat covers and quirky, sarcastic, somewhat unhinged originals.

With vibes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggon these guys will sure to catch your attention!

After their stand-out performance a few weeks ago, The Krakens are back! They are a four-piece rock band featuring Chris Craigen on Keys/Vocals, Naomi Vranas on Bass, Jon Mason on Guitar and Seb Hensman on the Drums. The band covers a variety of rock songs through the ages including Elton John, Queen, Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and many more.


Friday 7 June 2024

Dance music: Behind the Eyes Album Tour with Outrage + Digital
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £10

The Bedford stop of Outrage’s tour, alongside O.G. Digital, Function Records’ head honcho and local drum and bass talents, pays homage to his roots in the genre. Celebrating “Behind the Eyes,” it showcases over 25 years of Outrage’s influence in drum and bass and jungle. This event is set to be a deep dive into classics and fresh bangers from across jungle and drum ‘n’ bass, reuniting Bedford’s drum and bass community for a memorable night.

DJ LINEUP: Digital b2b Outrage, Mazy D b2b 7even, Kano b2b Dynamic, Gravity b2b White-E, Relative Concept b2b AST.


Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 June 2024

Environment: The Great Big Green Week
Various locations

The Great Big Green Week is returning this June, a celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. 

From Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 June, Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum and Friends of the Earth Bedford will be hosting events throughout Bedford Borough – all for free.

The theme for events during the 2024 week is “Swaps”, with sustainability and sharing at the top of the agenda in Bedford.

From litter picks to community yoga in Bedford Park, there are a wealth of events on throughout the week. Check out their website for full details of all activities.


Saturday 8 June 2024

Creativity: Beds Urban Sketchers’ June meet-up
Kings Arms, Cardington @ 10.30am

Our June meet up is in the picturesque village of Cardinton.

Using the Kings Arms as the meeting point, you will have a wealth of beautiful buildings and scenes to choose from. Alan Jarvis will be leading this meet up, and the weather forecast is looking swell!

Meet: 10.25am outside Kings Arms
Sketch: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Throwdown: 12.30pm, Kings Arms

Parking: Please do not all clog up the car park, it can get very busy at the pub. You should be able to easily find street parking

The Kings Arms:
https://www.thekingsarmscardington.co.uk/

This is a volunteer-led group and is not taught. It’s free to join in on any of our sessions. We’re open to all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring your own materials.

We are the Bedford chapter of the global organisation https://urbansketchers.org who practice on location drawing.


Saturday 8 June 2024

Art & food: Tastes Llike Home audio trail
Bedford town centre from midday
Free but booking essential

Join in a flavour-packed adventure across Bedford this summer. 

Throughout 2024, Tastes Like Home has built up a bank of local stories uncovered through archival research and interviews. Led by Bedford-based creatives Radhika Aggarwal and Alex Levene, the trail shares delicious memories of food and drink ingrained in the taste buds of Bedford and its residents. 

The Tastes Like Home Audio Trail is available to the public through the Overhear mobile app as they walk around the town. Your mobile device will use GPS to trigger each story tied to locations around the town, as you explore you can listen to these stories, all using your own device and headphones.

Tastes Like Home is a co-production between Echo Chamber Audio, a hub for aural storytelling and sound, and Bedford-based WordSetFree, where performance meets spoken word, games, civic engagement, and publishing.

Generously flavoured with funding by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to the awesome National Lottery players, heaped with a generous portion of funding from Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone for Bedford and topped with a garnish of support from Bedford Creative Arts.


Saturday 8 June 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Wilden Village Hall, MK44 2PB @ 1.30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

A 6.5 mile walk to Colesden and back to Wilden in open countryside.

Check out the North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ excellent website for further information.


Saturday 8 June 2024

Children’s Theatre: James Campbell – Don’t Panic We Can Save the Planet
The Quarry Theatre @ 2.30pm
Tickets: from £8

A new live comedy show that’s perfect for any child who wants to swap being an Eco Worrier for being an Eco Warrior.  Based around his new book children’s comedian and author James Campbell presents a positive, funny, life affirming comedy show which will inspire children to feel confident that they can do something on their own terms to help in the fight against climate change.  


Saturday 8 June 2024

Live music: Pearl Scam
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Close your eyes and you will think you’re there: Seattle 1991, the birth of a sound and the birth of Pearl Jam. As the tones of Alive and Evenflow fill the room, you will remember how you felt when you first heard Ten! As you hear classic songs like Jeremy, Betterman, Elderly Woman and Given to Fly you will remember what Pearl Jam is all about ….. the music.

Pearl Scam is the UKs finest Pearl Jam experience . The bands musicians have come together with one common goal recreating the high-energy live shows , with 29 years of music to draw from.

Pearl Scam is dedicated to giving their all to every show, in every town, in every city.


Saturday 8 June 2024

Live Music:  Danny Barton
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The wonderful Danny Barton returns to The Cellar Bar, playing a mix of acoustic rock and pop crowd-pleasers plus new material.


Sunday 9 June 2024

The Great Big Green Week: Yoga in the Park
Bedford Park @ 10am – 7pm
Free

Yoga in Bedford Park

Now in its fifth year, the popular annual Yoga in the Park event will be held a couple of weeks early this year to coincide with The Big Green Week. The day will feature 18 free yoga and well-being sessions led by fully qualified coaches, all in the peaceful surroundings of Bedford Park.

From Hatha to Ashtanga Vinyasana, Chair Yoga toTai Chi there will also be sound baths, laughter yoga, and mindful games for children and families.


Sunday 9 June 2024

Walking: “The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.
The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.

The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown is undoubtedly the River Great Ouse and its Embankment. This entertainig and informative circular walk takes you along the banks of the river, which has been described as one of the finest riverside settings in England. Learn the story of the Victorian Embankment development and enjoy a walk in the ornamental gardens.

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 9 June 2024

Live music: Sunday Afternoon Jazz
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 2pm – 5pm
Free entry

Sunday Afternoon Jazz is back at The Castle for the Summer, kicking off with the amazing Ric Carson Trio.


Sunday 9 June 2024

Live Music:  Retro Vibes – Daytime disco for grown-ups
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm 
Free entry

Fancy dancing along to some 80’s retro bangers on a Sunday afternoon? Have a few drinks, party hard and still make it home at a reasonable hour?

Then Retro Vibes at the Cellar Bar is for you! You’ll be transported back in time to an 80’s retro nightclub where night and day become one! Don your bright neon colours, shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, animal prints, leather, and lace or come as you are. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!


Tuesday 11 – Saturday 22 June 2024

Exhibition: Water
Basement @ Bunyan
John Bunyan Museum, Mill Street MK40 3EU

From 11 – 22 June, the Basement @ Bunyan will host a group exhibition by 13 artists who live or have lived, in Bedford. Entitled Water, it will explore different aspects of the element in a variety of media.

On Saturday 15 June between 11am and 4pm you can meet some the artists involved.


Tuesday 11 June 2024

Live music: Tuesday lunchtime concert
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free entry with retiring collection (suggested donation £5)

Annabel Astridge. Image: Bedfordshire Youth Opera/Facebook

A performance by soprano Annabel Astridge accompanied by Martin Jones on piano.


Tuesday 11 June 2024

Live music: One-off gig by the one and only Danni Nicholls
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 8pm
Free entry

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see Bedford’s very own Danni Nicholls at this intimate one-off gig at The Castle pub while she’s visiting her hometown from her new Nashville residence.

An unforgettable evening of Americana/Country.


Tuesday 11 June 2024

Film/Opera: Royal Opera House presents Andrea Chérnier
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, Court Lane, Stevington MK43 7QT @ 6.30pm
Tickets:

At a glittering party in 18th-century Paris, the poet Andrea Chénier delivers an impassioned denunciation of Louis XVI. Five years later, the Revolution has given way to the Terror, transforming the power balance between Chénier, his beloved Maddalena, and Gérard, the man who could destroy him… 

Jonas Kaufmann headlines David McVicar’s spectacular staging, under the baton of long-time collaborator Antonio Pappano – who conducts Giordano’s epic historical drama of revolution and forbidden love in his last production as Music Director of The Royal Opera.


Wednesday 12 June 2024

Film: Rear Window
Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s, 3 Saint Peter’s Street, Bedford MK40 2PN @ 6.30pm
Tickets:

Rear Window,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954, stars James Stewart as a photographer confined to his apartment with a broken leg, who becomes convinced he has witnessed a murder in a neighboring apartment.

This suspenseful thriller is acclaimed for its innovative cinematography and intense narrative. Stewart’s compelling performance and Grace Kelly’s elegance, alongside Hitchcock’s masterful direction, make it a cornerstone of thriller cinema. The film received several Academy Award nominations.


Wednesday 12 June 2024

Live music:  All New Blues and Soul Revue
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Tickets: £10 adv / £15 on the door

Jake and Elwood are coming to Bedford and they want YOU to come and see them perform!

The All New Blues and Soul Revue has been wowing audiences with a spectacular and authentic tribute to the classic cult movie ‘The Blues Brothers’™ since 2002.

This show pays true homage to a movie which has never declined in its popularity since the original release over 40 years ago. This show may contain adult humor and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event. Only customers with a valid ticket, with a valid QR code will be allowed admission.


Wednesday 12 June 2024

Quizzing: Quiz night at the Castle
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 7.30pm
£2/person / maximum six people per team

The Castle hosts Fran’s monthly Quiz Night.

Maximum teams of 6.  £2.00 per person entry. Winner gets the pot. Chance to win the bonus rollover.


Thursday 13 June 2024

Exhibition: Wixams Academy GCSE and A-level students’ end of year show
Wixams Academy, Green Lane, MK42 6BA @ 4pm – 7pm
Free entry

An exhibition showcasing Wixams Academy Year 11 and Year 13 art and photography exam work.

Students who have submitted work include Luke, who says he would like to become an art teacher when he leaves school and Amy (picture above) who said: “I love art and the freedom it gives to explore different textures and media.”


Thursday 13 June 2024

Film/musical: The Colour Purple
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, Court Lane, Stevington MK43 7QT @ 6.30pm
Tickets:

Based on the Pulizer prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Colour Purple is set in the deep American South between the wars and tells the tale of Celie, a young Black girl born into poverty and segregation. 

Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

Please note this is not a remake or the original 1985 Steven Spielberg film but a screen version of the recent Broadway musical.


Thursday 13 June 2024

Comedy: Castle Comedy with headliner Paul McCaffrey
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £16


A classic mixed bill of TV names and rising stars for this outing of Castle Comedy, hosted as ever by Paul Revell. Paul McCaffrey ( Live at the Apollo, Impractical Jokers, Russell Howard’s Good News and Stand up Central on Comedy Central) is a regular on the radio and he also co-hosts the hit ‘What’s Bothering you Now?’ podcast with Seann Walsh.

Esther Manito (Live At The Apollo, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Hypothetical) is an Arab Essex girl who will challenge every single preconception of what that means. Completing the line-up is Jack Hester. This British Comedian of the Year 2023 finalist is a high-energy Irish comic and one of the rising starts of the UK circuit.


Thursday 13 June 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring The Cody Lee 3
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Thursday 13 June 2024

Live music: The Luke Combs Experience
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Embark on a journey through heartland melodies and raw country storytelling with ‘The Luke Combs Experience’ – an electrifying tribute to one of country music’s brightest stars. This unforgettable evening the features the chart-topping hits and soul-stirring ballads of Luke Combs, delivered with unmatched passion and authenticity.

Sing along to hits like: The Kind of Love We Make’, ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart’ to ‘Beautiful Crazy’ and ‘Growin’ Up’, ‘Gettin’ Old’ and ‘Fast Car’. Whether you’re a country music fan or not, we’re sure that you’ll be singing and dancing the night away.


Friday 14 June 2024

Music: The Carole King & James Taylor Story
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

The friendship between James Taylor and Carole King played a vital part in both of their incredible careers. We delve into the music that came out of this relationship producing genre defining hits such as I Feel The Earth Move, Natural Woman, So Far Away, It’s Too Late, Up On The Roof, Tapestry, You’ve Got A Friend, Fire And Rain, Sweet Baby James, Something In The Way She Moves and many more. 

Journey through the music and lives of two undisputed legends of music in this show about nostalgia, musical brilliance and the power of friendship.


Friday 14 June 2024

Live music: Sambroso All-Stars present Buena Vista Social Club
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Is there a more iconic Cuban album than Buena Vista Social Club’s eponymous debut? Winning the Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, it remains a high watermark not just for Cuban music but world music as a whole, having been only one of two non-English speaking albums to be included in Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time list.

Doing this album any sort of justice is no easy task, but there isn’t anyone better than Sambroso Noda, the beating heart of London’s Cuban community and flourishing music scene. He has whipped up a bonafide ‘all star’ group of Cuban musicians who will pay their own unique and loving tribute to the landmark album.

The seven-piece all star band promise to mesmerise the crowd with their combination of Cuban Son, Latin Jazz and Rumba, from Cuba’s Golden era.

FFO: Buena Vista Social Club, Cuban & Jazz music


Friday 14 June 2024

Live music: Mark Calder and Cameo
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The fabulous Mark Calder and Cameo will be at the Castle on Friday, singing an array of acoustic covers for all to enjoy


Friday 14 June 2024

Live Music: Zenana
The Cellar Bar @ 10.00pm
Free entry

Zenana at Slide Record Shop with manager Steph Daniels and Anita's brother, Michael. Image: Steph Daniels
Zenana at Slide Record Shop with manager Steph Daniels and Anita’s brother, Michael. Image: Steph Daniels

Local band Zenana, made up of Anita Gabrielle Tedder, Penny Griffiths and Ruth Elder, formed in 1983 and disbanded in 1987.  They played local pubs and clubs such as The Point in Milton Keynes and The Angel in Bedford, while in London they appeared at the Hippodrome, Dingwalls and Le Beat Route.

They recorded one single – Witches in 1986 which never charted… until a Bristol-based DJ called Kiernan Abbott found the single in a record shop in Cornwall and thought it was brilliant.  He then proceeded to play it in clubs around the world.  It led to Anita and her brother digitising and remixing the original recording.

Read: New record deal and “overnight success” 38 years after 80s girl band split

And now the band are reforming for their first full gig in nearly 40 years and will play exclusively at The Cellar Bar in Bedford. So if you want to see history in the making and step back into the 80’s, get yourselves there for an unforgettable night!

The 80’s vibe will continue after Zanana’s set, with Matt Bedford returning to perform some classic 80’s dance tunes.


Friday 14 June 2024

Live music: Alien Chicks + ESSIE + Party Police
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

The addictively energetic Alien Chicks explore genres such as punk, jazz and math rock at Esquires this Friday.


Saturday 15 June 2024

Theatre: An Evening of (Very) Old Radio
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

The BBC is 100 years not out – just – but with no recordings from its first decade, comedian/writer Paul Kerensa (BBC’s Miranda, Not Going Out, Top Gear) retells and recreates its first broadcasts. 

Experience the first drama (starring Father Christmas), comedy (cockney character ‘Our Lizzie’), sport (horse-racing), children (starring Susan the blue cat with yellow spots) and much more. 

Expect century-old gramophone players, radios and jokes, plus rare clips and live re-enactments, from drunken opera to the forgotten first DJ. 

Paul has advised the BBC on their own history (on Radio 4’s The Media Show and Six O’Clock News) and continues to write for today’s BBC comedy shows. But he’s happiest at the 1922 BBC, when it had 30,000 listeners but only four employees.


Saturday 15 June 2024

Live Music:  An evening of country music by Samantha Hughes + Sam & Kate
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Get your dancing boots on guys and gals for a fantastic night of country music.

Samantha Hughes will kick things off with some classic covers by the likes of Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, The Chicks, to name but a few!

Then Sam & Kate take over to play some modern country songs by Zach Bryan, Noah Kahan, Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Jelly Roll, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton. Ye ha!


Saturday 15 June 2024

Live music: 999 + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Last seen at Esquires in 2009, punk originals 999 are back at the venue on Saturday 15 June some 15 years later and 48 years after they formed!


Saturday 15 June 2024

Live music: The Floyd Effect Tour – They Told Us What to Dream
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £27.50

With members who have worked with the likes of David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Brian Adams and Keith Emerson, and others who have performed on Broadway and in the Royal Albert Hall, The Floyd Effect has returned in 2023/24 with its most ambitious tour to date: They Told Us What to Dream.

After kicking off the evening with side one of Animals, The Floyd Effect performs the whole of Wish You Were Here. The second set then features a complete, unbroken performance of perhaps the greatest album of all time, Dark Side Of The Moon, as well as other tracks lovingly recreated from Pink Floyd’s acclaimed live shows.

Sit back and enjoy The Floyd Effect as the band takes you on a journey through some of the most revered music ever written. Unless you were there the first time around, it was never as real as this.


Sunday 16 June 2024

Walking: “The Life and Times of John Bunyan” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Discover the story of Bedford’s most famous son who was imprisoned for his non-conformist preaching. Visit the site of the cottage in which John and his family lived, the churches in which he worshipped and the site of the gaol in which he spent 12 long years and began to write one of the best selling books in history, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of the walk


Sunday 16 June 2024

Film: Six Inches of Soil
Stevington Village Hall, Court Lane, Stevington, MK43 1QT @ 2pm. Doors open at 1.50pm
Ticket price: Free, but please register for a ticket, so that we have numbers

Six Inches of Soil is a Cambridge-made feature-length food and farming documentary, which features farmers and experts across the UK.

This special screening will be followed by an opportunity to put questions to the director, Colin Ramsay and the co-aughor of the book, Priya Kalia. Tea (and maybe even cake!) will be served at the interval. 

The film tells the story of remarkable farmers, communities, small businesses, chefs, and entrepreneurs who are leading the way to transform how our food is produced and consumed through agroecology.  Agroecology is an approach to farming that includes ‘regenerative’ farming techniques that work in harmony with, rather than against, nature. It focuses on local food systems and shorter supply chains and aims to keep carbon in the ground to create resilient systems in the face of climate uncertainty.


At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: Rediscovering Black Portraiture
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Virgin of Guadeloupe 1745 recreated by Peter Brathwaite. Image: Getty Publications

The newest exhibition at the Higgins began as a diversionary lockdown project in 2020 and can now be seen at Kensington Palace, the Bodeian Library in Oxford and now in Bedford.

It features the work of Manchester-born professional opera singer, Peter Brathwaite, who has lived in the Black Tom area of Bedford since 2018.

With all his singing work cancelled during the pandemic, Peter began looking for an outlet for his creative talents and started recreating famous and lesser-known Black portraiture paintings using as props whatever he could find around his house.

It was inspired by the Getty Foundation’s lockdown project, but quickly took on a life of its own, gathering a large international online following. You can explore the project at his Instagram page @peter_brathwaite.

And from Saturday, 18 May, they will form part of an installation at the Higgins Bedford which will lead visitors through the main collections and into Cecil Higgins’ house, with Peter’s interpretation of The Paston Treasure at its heart.

Read: ‘Rediscovering Black Portraiture’ at the Higgins Bedford this May


Exhibition: Edward Bawden & Me
The Higgins Bedford until
Free entry

Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford
Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford

Brand new work by some of the biggest names in contemporary British art, illustration and textiles are on display at an exhibition at the Higgins Bedford in celebration of the work of one of Britain’s most inventive and influential artists

Entitled Edward Bawden & Me, the exhibition has been curated by Bawden’s good friend, illustrator and printmaker, Chris Brown and also features work by local artists’ collective, the Circus of Illustration.

Read: Star-studded new Edward Bawden exhibition opens at the Higgins Bedford

You can also read the full article in the February issue of The Bedford Clanger.


Exhibition: On The Wings of a Wire Bird
Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council

A new exhibition in the Higgins’ Sir William Harpur Gallery is the result of a year-long journey that has taken artist, Sophie Gresswell, from Luton to the island of St Helena and finally to Bedford.

On the Wings of a Wire Bird opened on Saturday, 3 February and weaves together the threads of empire, destruction, survival, and the enduring impact of Commonwealth heritage on the British identity.

Read: Local artist explores “rich thread of mixed heritage” in new exhibition at The Higgins Bedford


At the Panacea Museum

Exhibition: ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’
Thursday – Sunday @ 10am – 5pm
Free entry

Free healing. Image: Panacea Museum

The current exhibition at the fascinating Panacea Museum explores the ministry which gave the Panacea Society its name.

Originally titled ‘The Community of the Holy Ghost’, their more famous name came later, connected with their international Healing offer. The Society sent out linen squares, blessed by their leader Octavia, these were placed in water to make a therapeutic elixir.  

This exhibition explains the origins of the Healing, how it became so well-known, and why it finally ended.
Entry to the museum and exhibition is free. More information about visiting the museum can be found on their website here.


Every Thursday

Cocktails, Quiz Night & Karaoke
The Cellar Bar from 5.00pm

Pit your wits against The Cellar Bar’s resident quizmaster to see if you can win the jackpot every Thursday from 8pm. £2 per person entry and a maximum of six per team. The winning team will win the jackpot PLUS a round of shots. Followed by Karaoke til close


Every Saturday

Food & drink: Cocktail mixology masterclass
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / doors open at 12 noon
£30 per person

Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay
Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay

The Cellar Bar’s resident mixologist, Marley, will explain how to create some outstanding cocktails for your tasting enjoyment. Then, it’s your turn to put what you’ve learned into practice by making (and drinking) three cocktails!


Every Sunday

Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Free Entry

Every Sunday, join Mat Roberts for the Cellar Bar’s weekly Open Mic night. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.

So whether you think you are the next Tom Grennan or just want a good night of entertainment, head the to Cellar Bar from 7.30pm.


Theatre highlights by Paula Walker